It sounds like a strange question but it is one which is we have found being asked a surprising amount by cat owners online.
Before you read any further please do not feed your cat Paracetamol. EVER. Paracetamol is highly toxic to cats and a small dose of only 250mg could be fatal.
Many people incorrectly assume that if it is fine for humans to ingest then it will do no harm to your cat however this is not true and sadly many cats are poisoned because of their owners failure to consult a vet before deciding to treat their cat’s pain with paracetamol or something similar like Ibuprofen – which can have equally devastating effects on your cat.
One tablet of paracetamol would be toxic to a cat and if they eat a second one within a day of eating the first one there is high probability that their dose would be high enough to be lethal.
Paracetamol Poisoning Signs
Paracetamol poisoning will be made evident by a few different signs which indiate that your cat is in a toxic state.
These signs are:
- Brown gums
- Laboured breathing
- Blood in the urine
If you suspect that your cat has eaten paracetamol or if you notice any of the signs above in your cat then get them to the vet immediately.
Pain Relief Options For Cats
For most cats (and dogs) it is fine to give mild pain relief supplements for joint discomfort such as those shown below.
- NaturVet 500 Count S.O.D. and Boswellia Tablets for Dogs and Cats
If your cat is in serious discomfort you should consult your vet immediately.
Why is Paracetamol Bad For Cats?
When a human takes paracetamol it is broken down by a specific enzyme which all humans have, however cats do not have this enzyme so are therefore unable to process paracetamol in a safe way.
This means that toxic compounds will build up in their body and cause potentially irreversible damage to their red blood vessels.
The effects of this can result in what is known as methaemaglobinaemia which causes gums and the tongue to turn dark brown, it also causes liver damaged and these two combined are sadly often fatal.
Are Ibuprofen, Advil or Acetaminophen Safe For Cats?
No! None of these can be broken down by cats bodies as they don’t have the necessary enzymes.
Never feed Ibuprofen, Advil or Acetaminophen to your cat, all synthetic pain relief and pain relief specifically designed for humans should never be given to your cat as with paracetamol these are all highly toxic to your cat and could be fatal.
What to do if your Cat has Eaten Paracetamol or Ibuprofen
If you have fed your cat Paracetamol or Ibuprofen or suspect that they may have eaten some then please get your cat to the vet immediately.
Tell tail signs of pain killer poisoning may include:
- Throwing up
- Physical Weakness
- No Appetite
- Discoloured Poo
Natural Pain Relief For Cats
The best pain relief medicine for cats is natural, or homeopathic, medicine. This is because these are made from natural ingredients and are therefore easily digestible for cats.
Although homeopathic medicines usually have a much weaker effect than synthetic medicines they can be very useful for treating mild pain, it is also interesting to note that your cats purr is scientifically proven to help with the healing process!